Very few people go through life without consuming drugs and/or alcohol. Most will start experimenting with substance, in their later teen years. Those folks, who are genetically predisposed, or live in unhealthy environments, often start earlier than the rest of their peers.
Used in moderation a glass of wine is a great way to unwind after a long stressful day. An ice-cold beer at a barbeque can be a conversation starter. A hot toddy will warm your insides on a cold winter day. Social gatherings are often held around good food and good drink.
But what happens when you start to build a lifestyle around substance?
Instead of having one drink at dinner, you’re having three. Your weekends turn into a two-day drinking binge. Your New Year’s cocaine habit has escalated to weekend use, and then, mid-weekly.
The marijuana you smoked as a teenager is now an ounce a week, habit. The Oxycodone you were prescribed ran out and now you’re buying it off the streets.
You can’t keep up with the lies you’re telling people. The consequences of your actions are adding up. You’re financially strapped, and your job, marriage, and health are falling apart.
The message you’re getting is loud and clear. It’s time to clean up your act. But still, you’re unsure.
Below are five good reasons why you should get clean and sober.
You’re dying. Addiction is a chronic, progressive and terminal, illness. It gets worse, not better, over time. Because one of the essential symptoms is a delusion, you may be blind to the effect it’s having on you. Some of us need visual proof. To help you with this, grab a handful of paper and a pencil. Jot down the first time you used, how old you were, what you were using, and how often you used it. Go year by year, starting from then, all the way to now. Be thorough. Don’t omit anything. Think back to the times you’ve felt concerned about your using habits. Did you promise to stop? What did you tell yourself when you started again? Those excuses are how your addiction speaks to you. The excuses become the way you live, think and behave. Left unchecked, you become your addiction. Your body deteriorates, your organs fail and you live a miserable, hopeless existence.
You were brought here to do better things. When you’re abusing a substance, your life reflects the use. Relationships are strained or fractured. You avoid people. You live with unbearable shame. You’re lonely and scared. As strange as it sounds, you may have been gifted with addiction for a reason that is beyond you. We all have a purpose. What if sharing your experience with other struggling addicts, is yours? Perhaps you were meant to work in the field of addiction or write books on the subject. Maybe your soul mate is out there waiting for you, and he/she is a recovering addict. You might have children waiting to be born. Recovering from addiction offers you endless possibilities and the support to do it.
It’s easier to live sober than it is to use. Think about all the energy it takes to maintain your addiction. It’s a 24/7 job. Unlike other jobs, this one doesn’t pay you. As a matter of fact, for all your hard work, you’re only fattening the wallet of the dealer. Your wallet remains empty, but that’s not all. Every time you pick up, you poke an ugly little hole into your soul. Pretty soon you’ll look in the mirror and not recognize the person staring back at you. Your eyes will be dull, flat and lifeless. You’ve reached the dead man walking stage.
Time to grow up. Let’s face it. You use because you’re scared and you feel anxious. With your crutch, you can almost, feel normal. At least you could in the beginning. Now it doesn’t work quite the same way. It takes more and gives you less. The scales have tipped. Your using is taking everything away, that’s important to you. Your substance use doesn’t just affect you either; it’s devastating your family. Addiction is a selfish, me, me, and me, disease. Quit hurting everyone around you and get help.
People will admire you – and you’ll feel better too. You might wonder if people are talking about you. We, addicts, tend to delude ourselves into thinking we’re hiding our usage, except when that nagging little voice kicks in and whispers, everyone knows. That voice is your conscience. It’s telling you the truth. Chances are, everyone does know. The people, who care about you most, will address their concerns with you. Others may not want to upset you, or they might have the same issue themselves. Either way, if you change your lifestyle, you’ll be admired. It takes courage to stand and deal. But more importantly, you’ll feel better about you.
Tired of being sick and tired? Then do something about it. You don’t have to wake up tomorrow morning and hurt everyone you love. You can feel amazing and happy, without the booze and drugs. Don’t wait for the right time to come along. There’s no better time than now.